Bidi manufacturers and stakeholders should be included in the Indian delegation to a global anti-tobacco conference to be held here, an industry association has demanded.
"As a representative body of Bidi Manufacturers, AIBIF has requested the Government of India to include bidi manufacturers and other stakeholders in the Indian delegation to the COP7," AIBIF said in a statement.
The 7th Conference of Parties (COP7) is a global anti-tobacco conference, being held in the national capital on November 7-12, that will review the implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.
The association further said that participation of all constituents and stakeholders in its procedures in FCTC for having transparency in the issue.
"We are deeply concerned about the vested interests of NGOs and anti-tobacco activists in India, who through their relentless and biased campaign are influencing the Government's tobacco control policy and promoting extreme regulations that are already hurting bidi industry and consequently employment of bidi workers and causing widespread growth of counterfeit trade in bidis," said AIBIF President Rajnikant Patel.
According to the federation, policy developments in this area are not left to anti tobacco activists or NGOs.
"The Indian delegation comprising all bidi industry stakeholders to COP7 will ensure that all stakeholders view point on various issues is considered while recommending new tobacco control measures without harming the interests of millions of bidi workers dependent on bidi industry," it added.
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